Apple debuts new Apple TV 4K with HDR

Apple today introduced the new Apple TV 4K designed to deliver a stunning cinematic experience at home.

With support for both 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR), Apple TV 4K features unbelievably sharp, crisp images, richer, more true-to-life colors, and far greater detail in both dark and bright scenes. With Apple TV 4K, viewers can enjoy a growing selection of 4K HDR movies on iTunes. iTunes users will get automatic upgrades of HD titles in their existing iTunes library to 4K HDR versions when they become available. Apple TV 4K will also offer 4K HDR content from popular video services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, coming soon.

With the introduction of Apple TV 4K, the Siri Remote gets a subtle redesign with a new white circle around the “menu” button.
With the introduction of Apple TV 4K, the Siri Remote gets a subtle redesign with a new white circle around the “menu” button.

 
4K and HDR

Built on the groundbreaking A10X Fusion chip — the same chip that powers iPad Pro — the new Apple TV 4K delivers a vivid 4K HDR experience.

• Support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10 ensures users can enjoy incredible-looking TV shows and movies on any HDR TV.
• Built-in high-performance 4K video scaler makes HD content look better than ever on a 4K TV.
• Always outputting to the highest resolution possible allows viewers to get the most out of their TV, whether it’s an older HDTV or the latest 4K Dolby Vision OLED.
• Automatic detection of a 4K TV’s capabilities optimizes setup for the best quality picture.

Siri and the Apple TV App

Siri and the Apple TV app are easy ways to find and play exactly what you want. The TV app brings all your favorite shows and movies together, and Siri makes it possible to search and access content across Apple TV using just your voice.

• The TV app supports over 60 services on Apple TV and iOS devices, with more being added all the time. Whether you’re at home or on the go, it’s easy to discover and watch TV shows and movies from multiple apps in one place.
• Siri is smart about 4K HDR, so it’s unbelievably simple to find movies and TV shows in the highest picture quality across your apps (e.g., “Show me movies in 4K”).
• Later this year, the TV app is making it easier than ever to watch and get updates about live sports just by saying “Watch the Warriors game” or “What’s the score of the Cubs game?”
• Sports fans in the US will be able to track their favorite teams and get on-screen notifications whenever they are playing, as well as see all the teams, leagues and sporting events currently playing through a dedicated Sports tab.
• Starting this month, the TV app will be available in Australia and Canada, in addition to the US. And, by the end of the year, it will expand to France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

Apple TV at Home
Apple TV is the perfect addition to any household, with great apps from the App Store on Apple TV, as well as photos, videos, music and more. If you already own an iPhone or iPad, there’s no better choice in the living room than Apple TV.

• Users can share recent photos and videos from your iPhone and iPad, including the best Memories, with friends and family on the biggest screen, with iCloud on Apple TV.
• It’s also simple to send movies, TV shows, home videos and photos from iPhone or iPad instantly to the TV using AirPlay from your iOS devices.
• With support for AirPlay 2, coming later this year, Apple TV can control multiple AirPlay 2-compatible speakers as well as your home theater speakers to create the ultimate home music experience.
• Apple TV goes beyond entertainment to help deliver on Apple’s vision of the smart home. Since Apple TV is always at home, it’s perfectly suited to act as a home hub for all of your HomeKit accessories, enabling remote access as well as automated control (e.g., automatically turning on the lights at sunset).

Pricing and Availability

Apple TV 4K starts at $179 (US) for 32GB or $199 (US) for 64GB, joining Apple TV (4th generation) 32GB at $149 (US), available from apple.com and Apple Stores, as well as through select Apple Authorized Resellers and carriers (prices may vary). Customers will be able to order both Apple TV 4K models beginning Friday, September 15, with availability beginning Friday, September 22. For more information, visit apple.com/tv.

MacDailyNews Take: Very expensive versus competing products will make it difficult to move the needle in terms of share.

The design abomination that is the Siri Remote continues to exist, now with a white circle around its menu button. Sheesh.

That said, we’ll be buying several. Each of our Siri Remotes are immediately clad in $6.79 Akwox Remote Cases (we don’t use the supplied wrist straps) that allow us to immediately tell which side is up by touch, correcting one of Apple’s many Siri Remote design flaws*.

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Apple notes that subscriptions may be required to access some content. Not all content is available in 4K HDR. 4K resolution requires 4K capable TV. Playback quality will depend on hardware and Internet connection. Live sports are subject to blackout.

*With the Siri Remote, users can’t tell which end is up in a darkened room due to uniform rectangular shape. The remote is still too small, so it gets lost easily. All buttons are the same size and similarly smooth. Only the Siri button attempts to be different to the touch, but the slightness of its concavity is too subtle to matter; a raised dot on the button would have been much easier for users to feel. The tactile difference between the bottom of the remote vs. the upper Glass Touch surface is too subtle as well; this also leads to not being able to tell which end is up. A remote with a simple wedge shape (slightly thicker in depth at the bottom vs. the top), as opposed to a uniform slab, would have instantly communicated the proper orientation to the user.

28 Comments

    1. I will. I know I’ve been hard on Apple recently, particularly so around the Apple TV. This is the device it should have put out two years ago – but at least it’s finally here. The number one “feature” here in addition to ease of finding 4K content…is that Apple WILL let you download/replace your existing HD version of a movie with a 4K version when it becomes available. I need to go back and re-watch the presentation to confirm it – but if true….I love you Apple. Thank you.

      No orphaned iTunes library, continued interest in buying new content. Win-win. I will be buying 4 of these as soon as they are available for purchase.

  1. A non-illuminated white circle surrounding one button on that abomination of a remote?!?

    That’s the “improvement?” Holy crap Apple. Looks like I need to buy another of those silicon remote condoms MDN linked.

    Maybe if Jonny spent less time on his video he could have noticed that his remote sucks ass.

  2. What won me over about the new Apple TV is the (seemingly) superior amount of 4K content. For all it’s faults (it’s unnecessarily expensive for what it is being a main fault), the content is what wins. When looking solely at 4K and HDR content, they definitely seem to have the advantage by far.

    Comparison: I currently have Fire TVs hooked up to my TVs (2 of which are 4K), and pretty much none of the movies they showed in the background of the presentation are 4K through Amazon. The selection is terrible. Some are 4K in other services like Vudu. If they all are 4K through Apple, then they are definitely all in with 4K and would in theory be a good fit for my setup and wanting the best picture possible.

    Not sure if this is a studio thing or Amazon and other services just not fully embracing 4K content with their studio partnerships due to cost, or something else. Definitely confusing!

      1. …didn’t remember it being in the product line that long, bought the Bondi blue iMac back in the day with it…it suffered the same flaw as the tv remote: you couldn’t immediately feel which end was up.

  3. Besides my inherent distaste of streaming, my issue with a 4K AppleTV is what do you do when you’re restricted to an ISP whose internet speed barely allows for HD streaming?

    4K simply isn’t going to happen.

    Me and about 6000 other households in my community aren’t going to be getting any sort of infrastructure improvements anytime in the foreseeable future… and by foreseeable, I mean in our lifetimes most likely.

    Was basically informed by employee of ISP that such improvements would cost upwards of 100 million and the ROI for a community of 6K wasn’t worth it.

    Pretty certain there are a whole lot more communities like mine that are in similar situations.

    1. 5G wireless is going to have much higher data caps and be competitive with cable/wifi for your demographic. It’ll be more expensive, but you’ll be able to get high-speed service with a very large data cap. Competition with the entrenched monopoly is coming.

  4. The new Siri remote with white circle solves the problem. If we cannot tell which end of the thing is up now( besides, can’t the remote still be seen in the dark anyway with the tv screen all aglow?), then really-the problem ain’t with Apple.

    1. dunno about that, seems all they had to do was make some kinda tactile change in the moulding of the plastic…some kind of crosshatch texture so you could immediately feel which was the right end without looking.

    2. No, you can’t really see it in the dark, even with the glow of the TV. Problem NOT fixed. Still need a 3rd party solution. And if you grab it wrong to begin with (on the touch pad) you are likely to have already messed up the show you had playing. Still a bad design.

  5. I’d like to draw attention to something, which is the fill rate. Unless you have gigabit service and no data cap, there’s still the compression of the file being sent. I know it’s not Apple’s fault, but does anyone think the 4K picture is going to compete with a 2K Blu-ray? Is it going to minimize the artifacts so that we can’t tell?

    1. Good point, of course, but I suspect that it’s adapting to products in the future from its partners, as it often does, that are as yet undeveloped or unavailable.

  6. Hey you fake macho Rightwing chicken hawk snowflake MDN disaffected whiner, put a friggen’ piece of tape or a dab of hot melt glue
    at the desired location to tell you it’s orientation. Quit quibbling, adapt, execute. Now STFU!

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